Gordon Meets Crossovers!?
I got to the rink earlier than usual for my lesson tonight. I wanted a little extra time to warm up, to see if my LF edges were still present or if they had deserted me. Thanks be to God, they were still there! I had a good warmup skate before my lesson.
We started my lesson with Glenn saying he'd seen me practicing my glide out of the corner of his eye, and he wanted me to show it to him, so I did. He spent some time congratulating me, saying that I had reached an important milestone. He's not a big one for compliments so this meant a lot, I was very pleased. We worked a bit on the right foot (which still is not there) and also getting more extension from my free leg.
From there we went to the 2-foot turn, which we had not looked at last week but which I had (of course) practiced. He had me show him where I was at with it, and he made several corrections. First and foremost he wanted me to be more assertive with my windup -- lead with the shoulders, not the arms/hands. The shoulders should move and the arms follow, not vice-versa. He also told me to bend my knees slightly to the right (for a CCW turn) to avoid turning on my skates prematurely. Finally, he said that I was making too much of it. You'll notice in my last entry I thought I needed to be more explosive. Well, not so. I do need to be decisive (no hesitation), but not explosive. More finesse, less push. A graceful thing, not a powerful thing.
We then looked briefly at the 1/2 swizzle pumps on a circle, and he made me do them CCW and CW and thinks they are looking good. He's threatening ( :-)) me with backward ones next.
He then proceeded to introduce me to forward crossovers. He had me stand in front of him, bring my right hand in front and my left hand back, and then bend my knees, and pick up my right foot and cross it over my left foot while moving my weight to my left foot and then over to my right foot; then move my left foot back around. We did this several times both ways, first standing still and then moving very slowly forward. It went okay. I was rather amused since I wrote just last week
that I figured Glenn would move me to this stuff well before October/November. Well, it's only August. Mind you I'm hardly doing real crossovers at this point, but clearly it's coming.
For my practice this week he suggested I continue to work through the things we had done, and he wanted me to try to have more power. He emphasized that doesn't mean doing things quicker -- it means more push, more power. In my stroking, not more strokes, but more powerful strokes.
After my lesson I worked through most of the stuff we'd done, although I left the crossovers alone for tonight (I'll try them Saturday or Monday). I spent some time on my backward swizzles, on my stroking, and briefly experimented with a backward snowplow stop. Since my backward glides aren't particularly fast there's not much to stop, but I did manage one, I think. I also spent a lot of time enjoying my LF edges and just kind of noodling around with that -- self-indulgent, I know, but I wanted to enjoy the feeling of competence and wonder. At one point I worked on getting more extension on my free leg and got what felt like quite a lot, actually. Without someone else looking (I certainly can't!) it's hard to know. The funny thing was, I realized to get the extension it didn't really make any difference in my balance, I just had to make the muscle-effort. That is, I needed to balance for my free leg behind me instead of next to my skating leg; but once it's out behind it didn't seem to make much difference in my balance how far behind it was, I just needed to make the effort. Interesting.
After the Z-break they played some good music, so I spent some time working on skating more powerfully and faster. It was good, but tiring.
At the end of the evening I spent more time working on trying to get an outside edge (or flat) on my right foot. I succeeded briefly a couple of times, but it's not there yet. I'm not sure why it's not since the left is there, but that is the way it goes sometimes I guess.
I got on the ice at 6:40 and was still skating at 9, planning to leave after just a couple more tries at the right foot. I was tired. As can easily happen when I'm tired, I had a fall. This was another one of those falls that starts out very badly (flailing and thinking I'm going to fall over backwards flat on my back) as I lost my balance and my arms were up. Somehow, I'm not sure how, I managed to translate it into a forward fall/slide/spin or something that wound up not hurting at all. I'm really glad I recovered it but I will try to be more careful about knowing my limits in the future.
All in all it was a terrific evening and I am wiped out, especially after skating two nights in a row. As I was leaving I got to meet young Hannah's father. Hannah is one of the young skaters (she's 10, I think she's in Freestyle 1-2). She cracks me up, she's pretty funny. Tonight she was working on her shoot-the-duck and she was cheating it a little, so I teased her about it. Anyway, I told her dad that she's a gem and she's working very hard. He thanked me for the compliment. It's nice to see the parents out there supporting their kids.